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WIDI Recognition System pro 3.3 - User Guide and FAQ

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Convert MP3 to MIDI

Here we are going to tell about the differences between MP3 and MIDI formats and about the process of converting MP3 to MIDI.

Primarily let us note that MP3, as WMA, OGG and others, are just compressed Wave files. Wave files contain record of sound pressure on microphone diaphragm depending on time. This type of record gives no information about an object producing sound, whether it's a musical instrument, human voice or a noise of a waterfall. This presentation is universal, but has a number of peculiarities. First, it doesn't allow to edit components of sound (for instance, it's impossible to replace sounds of one instrument by sounds of another instrument or to change the words pronounced etc). Moreover, these components cannot be determined and divided automatically. Considerable size of a file, even compressed to MP3 or WMA format, is another disadvantage.

As we speak about musical records, it's quite difficult to recognize from an orchestra record, which instruments have being sounded and which notes have being played. As orchestra plays, it uses a musical score, that is a record of what and when should be played by which instrument. Orchestra is "converting" score commands to sound, and MIDI synthesizer is doing the same thing. MIDI file received at synthesizer's input (for instance, a mobile phone playing ringtone) contains the commands ordering which notes should be played in which moment. Synthesizer is executing commands and there's a sound at the output - that is a sound wave similar to one contained in a Wave or MP3 file.

Backward conversion from MP3 to MIDI or from Wave file to MIDI is much more complex and usually requires work of a professional musician listening to a record and selecting notes. This work is complicated and diligent.

Nevertheless there is a method of simplifying music recognition even for the people without musical education. With the help of special algorithms which analyse musical record it's possible to determine pitch and loudness of sounding notes. These algorithms serve as a basis of WIDI Recognition System.

Let us note once again, that the algorithms converting MP3 to MIDI cannot perform the conversions needed completely and automatically at the appropriate quality level, but the amount of the time required is lessening. So one of the key points of MP3 to MIDI conversion with the help of WIDI is the use of TrueTone Editor, which allows to bring MIDI file to necessary quality level. Owing to TrueTone Editor and to additional options of operating settings files, precise bar-lines arrangement WIDI becomes a powerful tool of music recognition and converting MP3 to MIDI.

Frequently Asked Questions - WIDI Recognition System pro

  1. How can I use CD-Track as a source file for WIDI?
    WIDI 3.3 supports various sound formats, including CD-Tracks. To open a CD-Track press "Open" button. "Open File" dialog will appear. Select "WAV, MP3 & CDA files" as a file type, then locate your CD Drive and choose a .cda file. Each .cda file corresponds to a CD-Track. This file is usually named as Track**.cda, where ** is a track number. For example Track5.cda corresponds to the fifth track on your CD.

  2. What is Synchronous Playback? How to use it?
    Synchronous Playback is a possibility to synchronize playback of source audio file and result MIDI file. This button is active when any MIDI window is active and Wave is open. This helps to compare the result of transcribing with initial melody. Synchronous Playback is also available in TrueTone Editor.
    Note: if you activate MIDI file which does not correspond to the selected part of source file, you will hear two absolutely independent melodies sounding simultaneously. Doing that is possible, but does not make any sense.

  3. Does the number of tracks produced correspond to the real number of voices in the melody?
    MIDI file that you get can consist of several voices - up to 18. Number of voices is controlled by "Polyphony" parameter in "Pitch->MIDI" Tab of "Settings" dialog. In this case polyphony means maximal number of notes that sound simultaneously. The voices are divided by volume. The number of simultaneous notes indicated in "Polyphony" will be accepted in the output MIDI, all others will be rejected. Result file can be (and usually is) composed of several tracks. The number of tracks is not equal to "polyphony". We are still working on making WIDI detect a real number of voices in the source file and separate them by instruments. Note: WIDI now can also combine all notes to one track regardless of their volume.

  4. Under what circumstances do I need to change the default settings?
    MIDI files produced by WIDI tend to sound as close as possible to the original sound. When you see that MIDI file you got does not sound similar to WAVE file you initially had, this is the time to adjust settings. Typical inaccuracies are: waste notes were added or some necessary notes were lost, or some "rubbish" in high frequencies was added (this means - short excursive high-pitched notes) or maybe every melodic tone of the melody has been spliced onto pair of notes divided by octave.

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